On November 16th Stavatti Military Aerospace selected the F414 family of turbofans to power the New Turbofan Machete variants. A product of General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE) the F414 is an evolution of the proven F404 series of afterburning and non-afterburning turbofan engines. In October 2007 Stavatti Aerospace began a series of improvements to the Machete family of aircraft to arrive at a more capable aircraft which will readily address 21st century COIN/CAS/ADF needs. These improvements not only include an increase in aircraft physical dimensions and operational weights, but also overall power and thrust requirements.
While Stavatti elected to retain the PW127G to power the SM-27S/T, on November 16th it was decided that the New Turbofan Machete and Super Machete required proven powerplants of greater thrust which offer superior high-altitude performance. Borrowing from the original SM-47 powerplant configuration, Stavatti elected to employ GEAE F414 engines in both the new configurations of the SM-27J/L Turbofan Machete and the SM-47S/T Super Machete.
The original “pre-November 2007” SM-27J/L was to be powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C turbofan delivering 7,002 lbs static thrust. A highly efficient turbofan which also powers the Dassault Falcon 2000EX, the PW308C was an ideal COTS choice to ensure long loiter times and efficient cruise. While engineering the improved SM-27J/L it was determined that the PW308C powered aircraft may be underpowered. To maintain commonality with the SM-47, it was elected to reconfigure the SM- 27J/L to employ a non-afterburning F414 derivative which will provide nearly 15,000 lbs static thrust. Although consuming more fuel than the PW308C, the F414 will enable the SM-27J/L to operate from extremely short fields while out accelerating, out-climbing and out-running any aircraft in its class while carrying a significant external stores load. As the F414 is currently produced only in afterburning configurations, the SM-27J/L powerplant will be engineered specifically by GEAE for the Turbofan Machete.
The original “pre-November 2007” SM-47 was to be powered by a non-afterburning GEAE F414. Envisioned a successor to the F-5 and F-16A and a direct competitor to the JAS 39 Gripen, it was decided that the New Super Machete needed to not only operate within the same weight class as the JAS 39, but also offer a higher thrust-to-weight ratio while benefiting from a reliable, proven powerplant. To maintain continuity within the jet Machete families, Stavatti chose an afterburning GEAE F414-GE-400 to power the SM-47. The powerplant for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the F414-GE-400 will provide over 22,000 lbs of thrust and enable a SM-47 in the ADF configuration to achieve an over-unity thrust-to-weight ratio. Benefiting from the proven reliability of the F/A-18E/F, the SM-47 will be designed to carry half the internal fuel of the F/A-18E while delivering nearly 2/3rds the warload at a greater maximum level speed.